Thinking of the perfect vision statement for your company? You should. Every business begins with an idea, and every idea should be accompanied with a business vision.
Now, the question is, why is ‘vision’ important in business? The ‘vision’ refers to the highest goal you wish to attain when building a company.
It is not enough to establish your idea and philosophies.
Neither is it enough that your business is running.
Establishing a company is just step one of the processes and there’s a lot more to follow.
Whether your company will survive in the next few years will be the true test of its success.
To help your company grow and plow through all the obstacles, you need to have a vision.
Where do you see your company going in the next 5 years?
What innovations do you want to achieve?
What are your financial goals?
Are you transferring to a bigger office and hiring more employees?
Do you want to have more branches?
To which extent do you want to expand your networks?
All these are guide questions which should help you compose the most effective vision and mission statement for your company.
A business vision is a clear picture of what direction the business is heading.
It is the purpose that propels the entire company forward and is what will ultimately lead your company to success.
The Importance Of Having An Effective Vision Statement
Every business or organization is composed of different-minded employees in different departments – finance, marketing, purchasing, etc.
Each has its own set of daily and quarterly tasks to focus on and accomplish.
The usual challenge is to make the job of these different departments come together.
For that to happen, they need to have one goal in mind, the ‘vision’ of the business.
They need to know where they are headed so that every action and decision they make, even if they belong to different sectors, will lead to that one goal.
This is the main purpose of a vision statement.
Here are some of the most inspiring vision statements from top companies:
Picture of Elon Musk of Tesla
“To create a better everyday life for many people” – IKEA
“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” – Tesla
“Spread ideas.” – TED
The Purpose Of A Vision Statement
A very solid and straightforward vision statement can do two huge things for your company:
- Develop loyalty in your employees
- Maintain loyalty in your clientele
The major reason why both employees and clients stay loyal to a brand is that they share many of its values.
When a company is able to create a connection with the customers and employees, they can earn their loyalty for life.
Employees will remain loyal to a company where their needs are met and the potential for future progress is clear.
A motivational vision statement can also help employees remember that they are a big part of the company’s growth.
Knowing that what they do contributes to the whole, these skilled employees would also feel more enthusiastic towards doing their best.
After all, helping the company also means helping themselves.
Developing A Vision Statement
Given its importance, how does one go about creating a vision statement?
The general idea goes beyond simply coming up with a specific goal.
What you need is to visualize and articulate where you want the organization to be in the coming years.
The best business leaders are not those who are knowledgeable about finance, marketing or business strategies.
Those are skills that can be learned.
What a good leader should have, when developing a vision statement, is a solid idea of what they want, the strategies they will employ to achieve what they want, and the discipline to get things done.
The Daily Record
Take, for instance, the story of Hoover Adams.
The small town of Dunn in North Carolina consists of around 14,000 residents.
All of them read only one local newspaper, the Daily Record despite the fact that there are other options available.
How did the paper manage to get the loyalty of the entire town?
This can be attributed to Hoover Adams, the founder of the Daily Record, who decided to stick to one philosophy: community coverage.
All other newspapers have the usual elements – sports, entertainment, and current events.
On the other hand, Adams instructed his employees to concentrate on local news and to always include the names of people in their community.
The more local pictures and names mentioned in the articles, the more people would want to read it. His idea worked like a charm.
In developing a vision statement, his idea was simple: Names, names, names.
A vision statement identifies long-term business goals and how the company wants to be seen by the world.
It can be inspired by certain elements such as finance, passion, growth, service standards, sustainability, and reputation.
The purpose of a vision statement is to inspire both employees and customers.
Enabling them to better understand what your company is about.
In The Daily Record’s case, it was obvious that they cared about the community and the people responded by showing the paper their loyalty.
How To Write A Vision Statement
To write an effective vision statement, it is important to reflect on the current status of your company and how you want it to grow in the following years.
When writing the components of a vision statement it should be:
- Short – Try to and limit it to two sentences—the more succinct it is, the more memorable it will be.
2. Simple – Use simple words that everyone will understand. This is to make sure your message is understood by people of all ages and backgrounds.
You can also try to use catchy words and phrases for better recall.
3. Specific to the business – When writing a vision statement keep it specific to your business.
Align your goals with the values of the company.
Make sure that when your customers and employees read your vision, they would get the gist of the products and/or services you’re providing.
4. Future-oriented – Always look towards the future of the company. There is no need to mention the company’s current status.
Focus on painting a vision of what the company will become in the future.
5. Be ambitious – Create goals that are exciting and challenging to motivate all employees to do their best to achieve it. However, do make sure that the goal is something realistic and achievable.
6. Be abstract – This means not putting in too many details, but focusing more on goals and providing inspiration.
7. Provide strategic direction – Paint a picture of where the company is headed in the future.
While the first component states that a vision statement should be kept short, some formally written vision statements can be as long as several pages.
There can be one or two sentences that sum up the idea of the vision.
However, some companies tend to write these statements in detail which are often used as a reference and guide for all their employees and stakeholders.
These visions also serve as guidelines when making big decisions for the company’s future.
Here is an example of a properly composed and inspiring vision statement from Amazon.com:
Picture of Jeff Bezos of Amazon
‘Our vision is to be the earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
If you were to look at the components of a vision statement, this one by Amazon.com adheres to almost all the requirements.
– Written in plain and simple English words, without the use of business jargon.
– Short but was able to provide all the necessary information.
– Ambitious enough to be exciting while maintaining a realistic approach.
– It helps create a picture in the minds of the readers.
Using the word ‘earth’ was certainly a brilliant word choice, something that you should also keep in mind when writing a vision statement.
Also, it paints a subtle picture, letting people know that it wants to be the best in the world when it comes to e-commerce.
– It states the values that the company wants its employees to provide, which is excellent customer service in the online selling platform.
Who Creates The Vision Statement In A Company?
The vision of an organization usually comes from the main owner or the founder of a business.
However, it can also be a collaborative idea from those in top management.
If you are having trouble with how to write a vision statement, a business vision workshop is always helpful.
Invite trusted and loyal employees, key staff and top management to help give the company direction.
Brainstorming ideas about the business can help generate more interest and loyalty among employees.
It also gives them a mission and a purpose.
This lets them know that the company they are working for has growth potential and they are included in its journey.
It is also important to talk about how to integrate the statement into the culture of the company.
Creating a vision statement is not just about writing down goals, steps should also be taken to start integrating this vision into the organization.
Compare and Contrast – Vision Statement vs. Mission Statement
A vision statement is different from a mission statement.
Many people have a tendency to use ‘mission and vision statements’ but it actually is a common mistake to put the two together.
To simplify: A mission statement is actionable while the vision is an aspiration.
Let’s break down the differences.
The focus is on the present.
Included in the mission statement are the company’s immediate objectives and what the company currently does.
The mission is what shapes the company’s culture and values.
It is the core of the system, its reason for existence.
Here’s an example of a mission statement:
“To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” – Linkedin.
Included in the mission statement are short-term objectives and what is being done in order to achieve it.
Here are some questions to ask when formulating a mission statement:
– What does the company do?
– What service does the company provide to its customers?
– Who are the customers that the company serves?
– How do you serve your clients?
– What are you doing to provide better services?
The mission statement is a guide for employees when it comes to the company’s advocacies, values, and team spirit.
It allows the employees to understand the company in a more profound manner.
It prompts them to act accordingly, to meet the company’s mission.
Take for instance the Disney Company.
It is a business that deals with dreams, fantasies, fairy tales, and childhood imagination.
This is also apparent in how they treat different aspects of the business.
Job interviews are called ‘auditions’ and employees are called ‘cast members’.
Their customers are referred to as ‘audience’ and everything they do is an ‘act on stage’.
Picture of Walt Disney
In effect, every employee feels that their job is a daily show which demands that they give 100% with every performance.
This is how Disney built their reputation of being the happiest place on earth.
When the employees know the mission of the company they are working for, they tend to embody the values and project it to the customers.
This focuses on the future.
It is a long-term goal that your company wants to achieve.
It is no different from nurturing a child and molding him or her to become a great person when they grow up.
What this does is give the employees a purpose, enabling them to work accordingly to the direction that the company is going.
Here are some questions to ask when formulating a vision statement for business:
– Where is the company going to be in five or ten years?
– What are the long-term achievable goals for the company?
– What are your hopes and dreams for the company?
– How do you want your company to inspire change?
– What are the problems the company can resolve for the greater good?
How To Apply The Mission And Vision Statements
While mission and vision statements have different meanings, it is actually important to use both when it comes to a company’s progress.
Thus, it is important to marry the ideas that each of the statements contains in order to form a cohesive thought.
Here is a good example of a combination of vision and mission statement:
“Our vision is to put into action through programs and a focus on environmental stewardship, activities to benefit society, and a commitment to build shareholder value by making PepsiCo a truly sustainable company.
At PepsiCo, we’re committed to achieving business and financial success while leaving a positive imprint on society – delivering what we call Performance with Purpose.”
Startups And Small Ventures
If you working on a startup company or a small business, you don’t really need to have a vision statement as grand as those by PepsiCo or Amazon.com.
Even simple one-liners can become a very effective mission and vision statements.
Here are some examples:
– ‘Bringing affordable health care solution to help people enjoy a better life’.
– ‘Helping and encouraging people to stay fit and healthy’.
– ‘To become a world-class university supporting the research needs of learning communities’.
– ‘Bringing students into the 21st century through modern technology and innovations’.
The key to creating a vision statement for smaller businesses is to focus on the goal long-term.
Don’t put in specifics such as, to expand and have 3 other branches in the next 5 years.
These are limiting goals because they are too narrow.
If the vision is limited to just these, then the potential for progress would feel stunted.
Remember that the idea here is to inspire your presence by showing what the future potentially holds.
Take your time in doing this—being a new business, you might not even be looking that far ahead so take this as an opportunity to do so.
What is the vision for the future?
The grand dream that you want to ultimately achieve.
What is it that your small business aims to do?
These are just a few of the things you need to consider.
Again, don’t be afraid to dream big.
This is what these statements are for.
Can Vision Statements Be Revised?
Revisions—changes in general— are always inevitable in business.
So the answer is YES, even these statements are subject to revisions as the business progresses.
However, it is not recommended to change what’s been written down completely.
Changes should be minimal, otherwise, it will disrupt the foundation of the core values the company was built upon.
The vision statement of a company is a revelation of what they aspire to be.
It enables people to connect with a business based on their values and personal philosophies.
In a way, it also humanizes these companies— something that is very important for any establishment.
In the same manner, it also enables employees to understand that they are an important part of the system.
At the end of the day, every person in the company plays a significant role and these statements remind them of that.
Now you have the tools and tips to create the perfect vision statement for your business. Go ahead and use them!
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